Volume One Special Coverage: Pulling Together While Staying Apart


'Dabbler in Residence' Will Guide Library Visitors in Art Journaling

Lauren Fisher, photos by Andrea Paulseth

OPENING A NEW CHAPTER. Susan Walsh is the L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library’s first “Dabbler in Residence,” helping visitors create art journals – four hours a week, March 3-27.
OPENING A NEW CHAPTER. Susan Walsh is the L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library’s first “Dabbler in Residence,” helping visitors create art journals – four hours a week, March 3-27.

Susan Walsh came to the Volume One office with a Mona Lisa-printed tote full of art journals. Each one was a unique release of Walsh’s thoughts and feelings, magazine clippings, business cards, and multimedia drawings bound together with strings and glue in a Dadaist frenzy. They are tactile masterpieces, ripe for rifling through and stuffed with memories. Over the coming month, Walsh will guide visitors to the L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library’s Dabble Box in how to create these captivating projects.

Walsh is the library’s first Dabbler in Residence. From March 3-27, she will work in the Dabble Box for at least four hours a week, offering workshops and open hours where people can stop by and talk to her about her art – or practice it themselves!

“The idea is that we have people who are coming in who have a craft, and we want that person, or that maker, to try and share their talents and teach it to others,” said Elizabeth Steans, reference services manager at the library, 400 Eau Claire St. Walsh was chosen among a pool of several applicants of different disciplines to be the program’s first resident.

“Everyone has a creative bone in their body,” Walsh said. Art journaling helps people release that creativity along with anxiety, emotion, or pent-up thoughts, she explained. It’s low, pressure, too.  “If you don’t like it, turn the page!” she said.

It can also be a way to hold onto memories and small keepsakes. One of the journals she used as an example was full of ticket stubs, napkin pieces, itineraries, and hotel information from a trip she took with a group of friends. She made an art journal for each of her traveling companions to finish with their own special flair.

The Dabble Box’s first residency showcases a truly accessible art form. Art journals can be constructed out of any kind of materials. Cardboard, paper scraps, fine cardstock, fabric, stamps, paints, pencils, and more have equal place in such a project.

“With this particular maker, people will walk away with the ability to recognize how they can reuse things,” Steans mused.

The Dabbler in Residence program offers makers a stipend to maintain regular office hours at the Dabble Box for one month, in addition to paying for some materials. Applications for the summer Dabble Box residency, which will take place in August, open on March 3. The Library is looking for applicants who can teach their interest to people of all ages and backgrounds. The program is open to people with talents of all kinds, including artists, scientists, and more.

For more information about the Dabble Box and the Dabbler in Residence, visit ecpubliclibrary.info/dabble.

Lasker Jewelers
Lasker Jewelers

Pulling Together Partners

The following organizations are currently supporting Volume One’s work in the community during the pandemic:

Lasker Jewelers

L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library, Eau Claire

Downtown Eau Claire Inc DECI

University of Wisconsin Eau Claire

Pablo Group

Wisconsin Independent Network

Middle West Management

Bon Iver

Royal Credit Union

Silver Spring

Evergreen Surgical

Charter Bank

Chippewa Valley Technical College

The Murty Henriksen Family

The Larry and Marie Past Family

The Dan and Kerry Kincaid Family

Anton and Rae Schilling-Smets

Brady and Jeanne Foust

If your organization is interested in supporting Volume One during this difficult time, nick@volumeone.orgcontact us.